Nemanja Vidic became accustomed to winning at Manchester United upon his arrival at Old Trafford back in 2006.
The now-retired defender enjoyed a trophy-laden eight-and-a-half-year spell under the guidance of the great Sir Alex Ferguson during a fond and memorable era for both the former Serbia international and the fans.
But times have changed quite significantly from the period that Vidic enjoyed – which included a Champions League and Premier League double in the 2007/08 season and league, League Cup and Community Shield treble in 2008/09.
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All in all, the 35-year-old won five league titles, three League Cups, the Champions League and five Community Shields. But what the Serb is currently witnessing at Old Trafford is far different from the riches he enjoyed during his time in the north west of England.
Ferguson has long since retired, and United are now onto their third manager since the Scot’s retirement – with both David Moyes and Louis van Gaal having previously failed and Jose Mourinho now trusted with guiding the Red Devils back to their glory days.
And to an extent, the Portuguese has done that – winning the Community Shield and lifting the League Cup back in February. Mourinho may have already matched the amount of major silverware the previous two managers achieved, but the 54-year-old is still some way off where he’d like to be.
The Red Devils face a second successive season without Champions League football – with United currently fifth, four points behind fourth-placed Manchester City while boasting a game in hand – and despite claiming the first major piece of silverware this season, there remains to be some discontent.
Earlier in the season, Mourinho’s side were dropping points to the detriment of their league position, which has now left them all but out of the title race going into the final few weeks of the season. But Vidic believes United fans can salvage some hope from what has been a mediocre campaign.
Vidic: United should always compete
“We are not in the position we would like to be of course but we are fighting for the Champions League,” Vidic told Manchester United’s official website. “Before the season you always think United should compete for the title but it is not easy.
“Mourinho came and brought in four players, but to build a winning team you need time, six months is not enough, but I do believe the team is growing.”
United fans will not be accepting at all of failing to qualify for Europe’s elite competition, but Vidic believes Red Devils supporters should be satisfied with a top-four finish, should they achieve it, and their League Cup success, at the end of the season.
Serb believes in Mourinho
“Mourinho has been in charge of big teams and won trophies in different countries so he has experience and I believe he knows what he is doing,” Vidic added. “I am looking forward to next season.
“But this season realistically if we can get Champions League and the [EFL] cup we won already then we have to be satisfied this year.”
While Arsenal’s calamitous end to the campaign is certainly working in Mourinho’s favour, the Portuguese still has a big fight on his hands to catch the likes of City and Liverpool, who are showing no signs of slowing in their own quest to secure a top-four spot.